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‘Digitally-obsessed’ consumers more likely to shop with digitally advanced retailers

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One in five (23%) consumers is digitally obsessed, making almost all their purchases online, and inclined to shop with digitally advanced retailers, a new study suggests.

This group, suggests the Buying tomorrow report from ecommerce consultancy Salmon, puts convenience and innovation ahead of the brand names, with almost nine in ten (88%) consumers saying that speed of delivery is more important to them than the brand being ordered (78%).

The study questioned more than 6,000 consumers in the UK, US and Benelux countries, and suggests that 45% are either currently using or are likely to use Amazon Echo, Alexa or Google Home in the next 12 months. That’s ahead of those who are using or plan to use smart lighting (42%), smart fridges and other white goods (42%), virtual reality (40%) and Apple Home (37%).

A further 57% believe they are more digitally advanced than some retailers, while 60% say they would be more likely to shop with a digitally innovative trader.

More than half (57%) say they can see why they might allow technology to buy goods for them automatically, based on their set of product preferences. That’s up from 53% the year before. Consumer hunger for new retail technology is growing: 23% identified as “digitally obsessed”, making almost all of their purchases online.

Overall, 60% say that if a retailer were more digitally innovative, they would be more likely to shop there, while 73% say they plan to spend more in the future.

Six in 10 (60%) consumers think all online retailers should offer same-day delivery. That contrasts starkly with last year’s average expected delivery time was 2.6 days.

Consumers are preparing for the next generation of retail technology – reflected in the fact that on average, there are four devices per household (increasing to five in the US). More than half (51%) of all surveyed also said they could not comfortably live one day without connected devices.

That said, 57% believe the technology, apps and services they use in their own life are more sophisticated than that provided by digital retailers. Almost seven in ten (69%) said they want to see greater innovation to improve the customer experience.

Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Salmon , said: “Loyalty is a complex thing. Across all sectors, we’re seeing fewer people favouring and remaining strongly aligned to certain brands and companies. This is especially prevalent in digital commerce – where the consumer focus on finding the lowest prices and fastest delivery doesn’t lend itself to being loyal to a certain product.

“However, as the study shows, loyalty is still there to be captured. Consumers are increasingly loyal to services over retailers – this is largely because the likes of Amazon are seen to be innovating and delivering the best overall experience to the consumer.

He added: “It is this ‘experience’ that drives loyalty and will be the difference between being a leader in digital commerce and being left behind. What this means, however, is that retailers need to offer consumers a host of convenient services and harness innovative technologies in the process if they are going to attract and retain customers’ attention. As consumers are becoming more open to trying new technologies – or expect to in the coming months –retailers need to put in the ground work from now if they are to meet high expectations.”

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